"From Here to Eternity" is a 1951. novel by American author James Jones. The novel was Jones' biggest success and won the National Book Award in 1952. It was later named one of the 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century by the Modern Library Board. The book was made into a successful Academy Award winning movie starring … [Read more...] about From Here to Eternity
James Jones was born in Robinson, Illinois on November 6th, 1921, the son of Ramon and Ada Jones. Not much is known about Jones' childhood before he enlisted in the army at the age of seventeen in 1939. Jones served in the 25th Infantry Division of the 25th Infantry Regiment during the second World War.
Jones served in the Schofield Barracks in Oahu, Hawaii, a location that would later be the setting for his most popular novel, "From Here to Eternity". James was present in Hawaii for the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941.
During his time serving at Guadalcanal, James was injured and discharged from the army in July of 1944. He had made it to the rank of a Corporal and won the most coveted award in the United States military, the Purple Heart.
After returning from war, Jones began his writing career with an autobiographical account of his experiences in during World War II. The novel was titled, "They Shall Inherit the Laughter" but was never published and was rejected by several major publishing houses.
After scrapping this work, Jones began working on "From Here to Eternity", his most well-known work. After publishing this novel in 1951, Jones won the US National Book Award for Fiction in 1952.
"Eternity" was then adapted into a film of the same name in 1953 that saw immense success and is still a classic to this day.
Jones published his second novel, "Some Came Running" following the success of "Eternity" in 1957 however this novel was not so well received. Critics attacked Jones stylistic choice of misspelled words and punctuation errors that he used to mimic the simpler mind of the main character.
Despite the bad response from critics, "Some Came Running" was adapted into a movie starring Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Shirley MacLaine which was nominated for several Academy Awards.
Jones went on to publish eight more novels in his lifetime and two posthumously, including his popular novel, "The Thin Red Line" in 1962.
Jones fathered two children in his lifetime, a daughter named Kaylie and a son named Jaime. Kaylie later went on to become a writer herself and published, "A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries" which was a memoir of Jones' time in Paris in the 1960s.
The novel was made into a movie in 1998 which sparked somewhat of a revival in interest for her father's work.
In 1978, Jones died of congestive heart failure while writing his last novel, "Whistle" which was published after his death.